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Poll Fun Mega Magic Time!

By Jesse Taylor
Monday, August 18, 2008 21:52 EDT
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imageHow do you artificially inflate opposition to abortion? Make like Charmaine Yoest and conflate people who support abortion rights with those who don’t!

Lost in all the spin about “common ground” is the bottom line reality that Americans already share common beliefs about abortion policy. A Gallup poll released this May found that while 50 percent of Americans describe themselves as “pro-choice,” a full 71 percent of Americans believe that abortion “should be legal only under certain circumstances,” or “illegal in all circumstances.”

Unfortunately, looking at the results of the poll linked in the quote, what Yoest did was conflate support for abortion rights with absolute opposition to abortion rights for a national consensus that we should and shouldn’t have abortion rights. Which is, uh…what’s the word? Dishonest? Stupid? Mendacious? That’s it. Mendacious!

I’m not a particular fan of the “legal under any circumstances” versus “legal only under certain circumstances” distinction, if only because I think most people can think up at least one circumstance where someone shouldn’t be allowed to get an abortion that would immediately push them into the more restrictive second group – most of them revolving around non-medical late-term abortions. But regardless, what we see above is that 82% of America supports abortion rights of some sort. Seventeen percent don’t. This constitutes a national consensus…against choice. Don’t ask.

Common-sense restrictions on abortion, like parental notification and spousal notification receive high levels of support. And this is the second reason the truth about the data on abortion reduction matters. There are policies that have been proven to reduce the abortion rate. For example, research from Michael New of the University of Alabama has demonstrated the effectiveness of parental-notification laws in reducing abortions. Nevertheless, it is precisely this kind of common ground, abortion reduction policy that Obama actually opposes.

And good for him! As Yoest points out, the primary purpose of notification laws isn’t to help women make the right choice, but instead to keep them from making a particular choice. How most who don’t believe condoms are murder and embryos are people look at abortion reduction is A.) encouraging measures that prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place and B.) providing a system of health care and an economy that treats children as more than once-a-year tax credits and families as more than higher premium opportunities for insurance companies.

You see, the way you have happier, healthier families and happier, healthier children is for families to make the conscious, planned decision to have children, and be able to ensure to the best of their ability the children’s access to food, shelter, health care and the other basics. It’s why they’re called “Planned Parenthood” and not “Reckless Pill Poppin’ and Unforeseen Baby Squeezin’ Parenthood”.

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
 
 
 
 
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